After the Dallas Mavericks defeated the 64-win Phoenix Suns in their second-round playoff series, questions have been raised about Suns GM James Jones being complacent at this season’s trade deadline. The Suns desperately needed another player capable of creating his own shot as well as being a secondary distributor.
The Houston Rockets were thought to be sellers at the trade deadline. While finding a suitor for John Wall was always going to be a challenge, veterans with trade value like Eric Gordon and Christian Wood were key names to watch.
Neither Gordon nor Wood ended up being traded by the Rockets despite their skill-sets being intriguing for a contender seeking to add more offensive firepower.
During an appearance on ESPN's "Get Up", former Mavericks guard J.J. Redick shared his belief that not trading for Gordon was a mistake for the Suns.
"I think (PHX) had an opportunity this year to go out and get a third shot creator. Eric Gordon was available in Houston. I know Suns fans wanted Gordon to be there. That to me changes the complexity of this team."
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Gordon, in particular, was thought of as a logical trade candidate considering he turned 33-years-old on Christmas Day. He averaged 13.2 points while shooting 41.2 percent from beyond the arc and showed plenty of value whether playing off the ball or creating off the bounce.
The Suns made a variety of potential costly blunders in the trade department that go beyond just not pursuing Gordon. They also could have had Thaddeus Young after he was dealt to the San Antonio Spurs but were unable to part with a first-round pick.
Think about the main issues that plagued the Suns in their series with the Mavericks. They lacked enough shot creation threats to take pressure off Chris Paul and Devin Booker in addition to having too many weak points in the on-ball defense department.
Had the Suns acquired Gordon, it's difficult to say whether they would have had enough firepower to flip one of their losses in the series against the Mavericks. He could have ended up being just another guard that Luka Doncic could have gotten on a switch to attack.
The Rockets would be wise to capitalize on Gordon's trade value sooner rather than later given he will be 34-years-old during the 2022-23 season. Given his $20.9 million salary in the final year of his deal (2023-24) is non-guaranteed, he should be quite an appealing option for contenders… including the Mavericks.